'Fortunate to be alive:' Couple avoids head-on collision with drunk driver


by Claudia Coffey


Posted on January 2, 2014 at 5:19 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 2 at 6:48 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A Fern Creek man and his wife are lucky to be alive after nearly avoiding a head-on collision with a drunk driver on New Year’s Eve.

The driver apparently hit three other cars before this last close call.

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There is some damage to John Fanning's car. But Fanning says it's a miracle that there's not more and that Fanning and his wife even survived this crash.

"We didn’t see him ‘til the very last moment. We saw police lights over in the other lane. And looked over there and right about that time it was like an explosion as his truck blew beside us," Fanning said.

The Fannings had just left dinner on New Year's Eve heading home on I-265 towards Taylorsville Road when his wife noticed something coming straight at them.

"My wife barely had time to move the wheel a little bit to avoid a head-on collision," Fanning said.

It was a van driven by 38-year-old Jason Ballard of Bloomfield. According to a police report, he was driving the wrong way on I-265 without his lights on. The Fannings were not injured but were shaken by what could have happened.

"Just fortunate to be alive. Puts a whole new perspective on life; makes you appreciate each other because we just as easily been in a morgue,” Fanning said.

According to police, Ballard hit three other cars and was being chased by police before his near miss with the Fannings. This damage can be fixed. The entire night serves as a chilling reminder not to drink and drive.

"The message is don't let these people get on the road," Fanning

Ballard has a record of public intoxication.